Venturesome Capital- State Charter School Finance Systems

Arizona is the only state that gives charter schools

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Unformatted text preview: ols an advantage over school districts. Small charter schools, including those schools in large urban areas, receive significant small-school funding adjustments normally intended for small school districts. In Connecticut and Minnesota, charter school funding is not linked to local school districts, so comparability varies with characteristics of the host district. Special education funding comparability is evaluated for charter schools that have either fewer special needs students than school districts, a comparable special needs population or more special needs students than school districts. Many states, such as Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, pass along all or almost all special education funding to charter schools whether or not charter schools enroll more or fewer special education students than school districts. Charter schools with higher percentages of special needs students get insufficient funding, while charter schools with few special needs students are able to divert special education funding to other areas. In states where the special education weightings or categorical funding is insufficient and a significant amount of general operating funds are used for special education, the same dynamics apply, albeit to a lesser degree. States that specifically fund special education costs, such as Delaware, the District of Columbia, and Florida, either through an adequate weighting formula or through reimbursement, are rated as comparable in the table. States where school districts either pay for or provide special education services to charter schools are also classified as comparable states. In North Carolina and Pennsylvania, school district average spending on special education follows special education students regardless of the cost of services for the disability. Thus, highcost special needs students are not comparably funded, and low-cost students are more than comparably funded. The three rows following special education address funding comparability for low-income students broadly defined to include programs and weightings for at-risk students and compensatory education. The dynamics are similar to those discussed for special education and grade level adjustments. If states provide charter schools with extra funding for lowincome students, the charter school funding system is judged as comparable. States using low-income weightings or categorical funding—such as California, Florida or Michigan— are generally labeled as comparable if charter schools generate funds based on their own enrollment. When charter schools simply get the low-income funding incorporated in school district averages, the problem of underfunding for charter schools with high numbers of at-risk students emerges. Transportation funding comparability is judged on whether charter schools get transportation funding approximating the school district average, or directly receive district-provided transportation. In some states, such as Arizona, transportation funding can 87 Venturesome Capital: State Charter School Finance Systems be used for any legitimate purpose. In states like Michigan and Louisiana, school...
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This note was uploaded on 02/11/2013 for the course ECON 101 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '09 term at Harvard.

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